Thursday, February 16, 2006

On Protecting the Institution of Marriage

Back during the battle between our War President and John Kerry we also had a battle here in Ohio and elsewhere concerning referenda on whether gay marriages should be allowed. As I drove to the polling place, I saw signs urging voters to protect their marriages by voting against establishing a right for two gay men or two gay women to marry. Right now, Assistant Attorney General Patrick DeAlmeida of the state of New Jersey is trying to get 7 justices of the New Jersey Supreme Court to "protect the institution of marriage" by not "redefining marriage" to allow gays to be married.

There are some linguistic mind games going on here. The fact is that if the voters had voted to allow gay marriage in Ohio, my marriage would not have been affected. I wouldn't have loved my wife less nor would she have stopped loving me. Our marriage would have been just as strong or good as it was the day before gay marriage became legal. Indeed, the only thing I know of that has had a negative effect on heterosexual marriage has been the establishment of no fault divorce. That has constituted a real threat to the institution of marriage for it allows for one spouse to obtain a divorce even though the other party doesn't want one. Gay marriage poses no threat of any sort. Indeed, gay marriage might strengthen the institution of marriage if the gays getting married could set a better standard for marriage than the miserable one that we heterosexuals have established.

What did the ignorant, religiously inspired voters in Ohio think would happen if gay marriage had been approved? Did they think that someone like me would have jumped at the chance to become gay, would have dumped my wife rapidly (thanks to the no fault divorce law), and gone out in the world to find some man to marry? Who knows what they were thinking. My view is that these people quit thinking years ago and replaced thinking with Christian and other religious dogma. Deep down in their murky hearts, I suspect, their motivation was their hostility toward homosexuality. The problem is that we straight folks have been conditioned to think that gays are some sort of horrible kind of human being.

When I was a kid, I recall my mother pointing to some man and saying he was something or other -- a queer or a homosexual -- and I decided instantly that being a queer was very, very bad. I had no idea why this was bad since she didn't elaborate what it meant to be queer. While in grade school I remember someone telling me that a gay was someone who burst fart bubbles in their bath water with their teeth. I must have thought that was a possibility or it wouldn't have had so deep an effect that I would remember it so many years later. After I found out what a gay was (but before I discovered what gays did in bed), I began to fear I might be gay, that is, I might be one of these very awful people. However, it turned out that I liked girls in a different way than I liked boys so I was saved. I think a lot of little boys worry about that just as they worry about how you go about getting a girl to let you go to bed with her. My friends and I didn't have a clue how we could get that to happen. Of course I am talking about what little boys thought about in the 50's.

Later, when I was in my thirties, at the height of my political liberalism, I still harbored negative feelings toward gays. These feelings were exposed to the light of day when a close friend who was married made a pass at me late one night. I was shocked but it turned out that I was more concerned at his betrayal of his wife than that he was gay per se. We stayed friends. I learned a lot about what gay men go through from talking to him and began to feel some sympathy for them but I was still bummed that he had betrayed his wife. Latter on, another very close friend who was married (our families were very close as well) outed himself. I responded badly but, again, it turns out that I wasn't bothered so much by his being gay as his betrayal of his wife. I was not nearly as bummed as she was. Indeed, learning of his betrayal destroyed her confidence in her judgment and ended up largely wrecking her life.

The moral of this story is that I have very strong feelings about the institution of marriage. To me the central responsibility of married partners is that they be faithful to each other -- that they be able trust each other. I have no problem with divorce but I do have a problem with infidelity. Now, does gay marriage damage the institution of marriage as I construe the institution,, where trust and fidelity are its central values? The answer is obviously, "No." The only way gays can damage the institution of heterosexual marriage is by marrying a straight person. The irony is that the nitwits who oppose gay marriage seem to be perfectly happy with a gay man marrying a straight woman (or a gay woman marrying a straight man), the one thing that is a threat to the institution of marriage. And the fact is that the prejudice against gay people that pervades our society drives some of them to engage in fraudulent marriages as a cover.

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Blogger DEN said...

LG - Well said. Here in Mass, same sex marriage has been legal for more than a year. (We have even had a few SS divorces already.) The opposition keeps worrying about the attack on institution of marriage, but they betray their true feelings by denying even "civil unions" with same spousal rights (eg, inheritence, tax treatment, etc.)And, they never address the fact that ANY marriage today has about a 50% chance of success. After 37 years of faithful marriage to the same woman, I am not worrying about what others are doing. The main concern for me is the effect of gravity on my body parts. :-)
Yet, I must confess that my conscious laissez-faire attitude does not overcome my discomfort in response to the idea of two cowboys cuddling in a sleeping bag. I suppose it is a matter of what we are socialized to accept. But, I am just not ready for "Brokeback Mtn" yet. Are you?

4:19 PM

Blogger concerned citizen said...

Talking about code words & phrases of the 'right-wing' Christian movement.
These are any words that evoke a emotional response like fear or sentiment.
Lots of people revere tradition.
Bring up Family values, patriotism, etc, etc... Work on the heart-strings.
If you can't sway them w/reason & logic, hit them in the gut.

Today I kept thinking of the Robert Louis Stevenson, childrens poem, called: 'A Thought'

"It is very nice to think
The world is full of meat & drink
& little children saying grace
in every sort of christian place."

5:52 PM

Blogger IbaDaiRon said...

Not too long ago on my own blog I proposed the complete abolition of marriage.

Not as a religious or social institution, mind you, just as an area for government involvement. With appropriate modification of existing legislation, where necessary, to maintain current spousal benefits, etc.

Then the question of who can marry whom becomes the province of the particular religion with which the individuals are affiliated.

Of course I realize this will never fly.

12:35 AM

Blogger Eric Dutton said...

I have more to say about this issue than is appropriate to say in a single comment, so let me hold my nose for a moment and defend those who oppose gay marriage from some of the charges made here.

"...if the voters had voted to allow gay marriage in Ohio, my marriage would not have been affected."
-This point is often made but it's irrelevant because no one is arguing its opposite.

You argued that gay marriage might strengthen the institution by good example. This is a dangerous route to take unless you have relevant statistics to back it up; mostly I've heard that, worldwide, gays have similar or worse marital (or similar relationship) longevity as straights.
Also, no one is arguing that gay marriage will ruin marriage by increasing the divorce rate.

"My view is that these people quit thinking years ago and replaced thinking with Christian and other religious dogma. Deep down in their murky hearts, I suspect, their motivation was their hostility toward homosexuality."
--This is true of some people, but those people are irrelevant to the debate because they will not be persuaded by reason and they will only be energized by ridicule.

You also argued that these people reveal their prejudice by opposing civil unions. Again this my be true for some, but the ones we need to worry about are the ones who actually have arguments against gay marriage and civil unions. These are the ones who matter to us. It matters because when we set up straw men, our opponents (and those they are trying to persuade) see us as uninformed reactionaries. That leaves us preaching to the choir. I live in a state with a very small choir. Gay marraige is now unconstitutional in almost every state that has put it to a vote.
Here are the arguments we need to attack:
-Civil unions are a stepping stone to gay marriage.
-Once we allow gay marriage, what other kinds of relationships will be acceptable? Will we let NAMBLA write the marriage laws? Will human/animal marriages be legal next? What about polygamy?
-Look at Sweden. Gay marraige is legal there and marriage as a whole is virtually meaningless to people there, which statistics bear out.
-This is a democracy/representative republic. Marriage is not mentioned in the constitution. We the People decide what marriage means. We the People, state by state, are deciding.

I reject all of these arguments. They can all be shown to be either unsound or unfounded. If, however, we keep pointing to the fundamentalists and to pervasive bigotry, we WILL lose this one.

1:38 AM

Blogger IbaDaiRon said...

If the 50% divorce rate statistic is accurate, I would argue that marriage is pretty much meaningless in the US as well. Except as another point of contention.

Could someone remind me why, historically, the State is involved in the regulation of marriage in the first place?

2:25 AM

Blogger The Language Guy said...

Dutton, you actually give no reasons why marriage between gays is bad for marriage generally. I did not address all concerns homophobes have about gay marriage -- just the concern of the NJ Atty Gen.

Some commedian said that gay marriage should be allowed -- why should straight people be forced to endure the misery alone. Something like that.

Dutton, I actually didn't say a word about civil unions but your slippery slope argument, that Civil Unions will slide in real marriages, is an invalid argument form. I am reminded of two slippery slope arguments in re the Viet Nam War. One was that if we didn't stop the Commies there, Communism would spread in the region. The other, which I favored, was that if we continued to fight in Viet Name, Comunism would spread thoughout the region. The latter turned out right.

No slippery slope argument is valid so don't bring them here.

7:52 AM

Blogger concerned citizen said...

Both government & Religious institutions have had a hand in enforcing rules & laws regarding marrige & family.
The institution of marrige is also peremrated by culture & custom.

Traditional marrige ceremonys in the U.S. at this time involve A church, minister, vows, etc... all caught up w/faith & spirituality, unconditional love, all those things we associate with Love & commitment.
The Christian Church feels they have a direct feed line to these values & many people assume this.
The Church is a very powerful advesary, but...

Institutions such as marrige make transitions, as customs & cultures change. Even our modern 'traditional ceremony' has changed.

I believe other cultures w/out the Christian Church have institutions of marrige. Maybe the Church will be forced to take a lesser role?

After all the Homosexual segment of the population is not going to just go away.

11:08 AM

Blogger concerned citizen said...

I'm following my own path here I see, but will keep at it.

The point you make about how we have been conditioned to veiw queers as 'very bad' in my case, 'hell bound sinners'.
I'd say most of the population over 30 have heard unbridled prejudiced against gays. That said; It does come down to our societys fear of homosexuality, & as we lose that fear (we really do have nothing to fear, right?)Then the transition into a new definition of 'traditional marrige' will begin to take place.

I think this another place where humanist ideals could take a big role.

Christianity always thinks it is under attack, As Rosanna Rosanna Danna said, "If it's not one thing it's another!"

1:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

After years of trying to persuade legislators to include Gays, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender people in anti discrimination laws I have found that it is not just the reviled “Christian Right” that fight against these protections in the laws. Clear majorities of the American people are against same sex marriage whether they identify as being a Christian or not.

The Gay lifestyle is something that people just do not want to deal with. It has been my experience that one of the worst fears that a Father has is for his son to come to him and say “Dad I have something to tell you, I’m Gay”. Men do not want to hear that and it makes them very frustrated when they have to deal with Gays. It is not a Christian thing as much as it is a macho, testosterone, man thing. Men must demonstrate their masculinity and they see Gays as a threat to that. Do you think I’m wrong? Take this simple test. Men, call your closest male friend and ask him if he wants to go see a movie with you. When he asks which one, you tell him “Brokeback Mountain”. How many of you men are comfortable enough with your own masculinity to attempt that feat?

Many people can look at Gays and say “It doesn’t affect me so it doesn’t matter”. I can say that these very same people when confronted with the situation on a personal level will have just as much of a hard time dealing with their offspring being Gay as those that come right out object to the Gay lifestyle. Newt Gingrich has a Lesbian sister and Dick Cheney hasn’t had his Lesbian daughter murdered yet.

Civil Unions are accepted and protected by many States and municipalities including the City of Philadelphia as far as city employees are concerned. Since the State of Massachusetts legalized Same Sex marriage only year or so ago the jury will be out for deliberations for some time on whether the rates of divorce will prove to be higher or lower when compared to heterosexual marriage.

I agree with LG on the concept of fidelity being a key to a successful marriage along with compatibility and tolerance. No-fault divorce is also a major factor in the divorce rate. Divorce has never been accepted by the Roman Church and people that want to divorce must have their marriages annulled first and then go through the legal procedures for divorce.

The people of the society decide on what is acceptable and when the majority of people decide it is acceptable for Gays to marry then that’s when it will happen. Until then the only thing Gays can do is work on changing the minds of the people. The acceptance of this kind of societal change does not happen overnight. It will take a lot more work to convince men that they are not threatened by someone who is Gay.

2:24 PM

Blogger Full Metal Attorney said...

I'm somewhat concerned by the characterization of all people who are against gay marriage as homophobes. I don't think this is necessarily true.

In truth, I don't care whether any individual states want to make gay marriage legal/illegal. What I do want is two things:
1. States should have the right to refuse to recognize marriages in other states.
2. The federal government should stay out of family issues as it ALWAYS has in the past. Federal courts have always refused to hear cases regarding divorce, child custody, and the like, even if diversity jurisdiction exists. This is a good thing.

That said, if you want to hear more about what I have to say about this subject check out this post from back in November--but bring your comments back here if they're relevant.

2:51 PM

Blogger Full Metal Attorney said...

Quickly, I'll add that I would NOT vote in favor of gay marriage. But I wouldn't protest it either. It simply offends my sense of morals to give legal countenance and approval to what I see as a sinful relationship. Does that make me a homophobe?

Does it change your mind when you know I've been friends with gay men, and tried to listen to them and understand what they had to say?

The first part of the book of Ezekiel requires me to tell the world what I think is sinful, and then my job is done. You can listen or not, I don't care.

2:57 PM

Blogger concerned citizen said...

Oh, i remember that discussion, Kelly. I would still have to say that there is a lot of diff. between smoking & gamboling & homosexuality. I still say that the first two are addictions & the third 'homosexuality' is not an addiction or a choice. Of course we could argue that, but as i have homosexual friends who tell me what it's about for them, I choose to believe them, not having experience in it myself, as I suppose neither do you?

What do you propose we do with all these sinners? Tolerate them untill they meet their rightous doom & go to hell, where they belong?

& Exactly where in the first part of Ezekiel do we look for this? & do we assume the prophet is talking about The present day?

Look, I know you are a believer & I am not, you are a lawyer & I am not, but i gotta tell ya this would not hold up in any court. :)

3:34 PM

Blogger Full Metal Attorney said...

(Not a lawyer yet)
If you want to know, read the first part of Ezekiel and make up your own mind about what it means.

And it doesn't have to hold up in court. It's my opinion on what should be done legislatively, and everyone is entitled to such an opinion in our country, whether informed and intelligent or otherwise.

And what do we do with them? Let them do what they want. But I have to let them know I don't approve. We can still be friends, but then I'm a conservative and friends with liberals. And why not?

4:04 PM

Blogger concerned citizen said...

Listen Kelly, I remember when i was a christian & going to church & hearing the sermon about homosexuality (prob. Ezekiel) What an abomination it was & how wicked & evil.
The thing that came to my mind was, what if it was one of my children or my brother or some person i love?
& what about people w/homosexual loved ones? Do you expect them to seperate the sin from the sinner? Do you think about these things?

4:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kelly, I have listened to people make arguments on why it is wrong to grant Gays the same status as every other citizen that pay taxes. You know I am the favored whipping girl for Christian thought here in "Freedom to think as I do land". I say though that if someone is a citizen of this country and they pay taxes and are an otherwise law abiding citizen then why do we need to deny them their full rights as citizens. I never hear anyone say that we shouldn’t make Gays pay taxes because they don’t have citizen status.

As a Christian I understand your objections to the Gay lifestyle and I do not for one minute believe you should have accept that behavior in your personal life if you do not wish. I do believe that all citizens deserve equal treatment under the law. There should be no categories in anti-discriminations laws. There should be no preferential treatment in hiring and firing at our places employment. There should be no preferential treatment in our admissions to our schools and Universities. There should be equal access to public accommodations and housing no matter who you are or what your beliefs are.

I have made the arguments over the years; that if don’t like firearms then don’t own one but don’t tell me I can’t own one because it is none of your business. I make the same arguments for Gay rights; if you do not like Gays or what they do or what they represent then don’t associate with them but don’t tell them because they are different that can’t have the same rights as everyone else. Your church doesn’t have to accept Gays. Your private clubs where you socialize does not have to accept Gays. Your workplace, your schools, your neighborhood or your public transportation should have no say or even think about it as long as they follow the laws already in place on public behavior. Harassing someone sexually or making inappropriate sexual contact is already the law so there are no exceptions to Gays either. It’s all about treating everyone equally no matter who they are. That means religion, race, nationality, gender, gay or gender identity as long as they are citizens. Illegal immigrants should be granted the right to be sent back their own country and if they want to come here, they have to follow the legal procedure to become a citizen.

4:21 PM

Blogger The Language Guy said...

j_g, this last post of yours is absolutely marvelous. I met with some academics last night for dinner and talked about my blogging and how it seemed, without me planning it at all, to have generated something like a seminar with the teacher giving his lecture and the students going back to an office they share and hashing it out. It is much like the situation I described when I was a grad student at MIT where we students gathered in our collective office and hashed out the issues of the day. In many cases, we outdid our profs. I think you outdid me in this post.

4:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many legislators have listened to me and many others utter those very same words. Those legislators have made their decisions on whether to act upon those words and ideas according to what their constituents will tolerate. In Philadelphia they chose to act positively to those ideas. The people of the State of Pennsylvania need more convincing.The legislators of the State of Delaware need to listen to what the people are saying and thinking and act on that. I am completely dedicated to equality and I have worked diligently towards it.

5:26 PM

Blogger Full Metal Attorney said...

As a general matter, I agree with what you said there j_g. For the most part, that is.

The only question I have is this: why gays? Why is it that homosexuals should get extra protection from the government? I understand why we need to protect people based on race and sex. Those are purely genetic issues. I also understand why we need to protect the handicapped, because that is either genetics or an injury that makes them "different." But when you throw in homosexuality, I think it's somehow different. Why is a behavior preference, or a way of thinking about the world, some reason to protect someone? I don't understand how, if you extend protection to homosexuals, that you can fire a goth for wearing crazy clothes to the workplace, or keep inner city kids from wearing their baggy clothes in the schools. It's a behavioral aspect of their life. Right now in many states I could get fired because I like "fat chicks," but not because I like other men. What's the difference? Where does it stop?

Now, I'm not saying that we should discriminate against homosexuals. Don't take it that way. I don't advocate discrimination against homosexuals any more than I advocate discrimination against gamblers or people who watch porn. And no I don't think it's a "choice." Preferences generally are not choices, only actions are choices. But once you extend protection in this way, where does it stop? It is a slippery slope, whether you like it or not, and sometimes a slippery slope argument is the best argument (if we let ID into the biology classroom then we'd also have to introduce critical analysis of plate techtonics). In fact, I borrowed that same argument from the Language Guy's last post. Everyone wants to give "special pleading" to homosexuals when there is nothing to rationally distinguish them from people who prefer to have sex with midgets. And a slippery slope is exactly what happens when you introduce special pleading.

8:21 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand your concerns Kelly and I will try and answer them as best as I can.
It is OK to fire someone that wears clothes to work that are not approved by the employer, that is a condition of employment and that has to applied across the board, that’s an easy one. The same thing with the kid in baggy pants at school, there are dress codes and if they are enforced they must be followed by everyone.

Right now Gay rights are on the agenda and that means rights for people that are attracted to each other of the same sex. That is a relationship based on two consenting adults. That excludes adults having sex with children, most people agree that is unacceptable but two consenting adults shouldn’t be a problem if everyone could mind their own business. Now people that have sex with farm animals well, I also made remarks about that in a previous post too. A man from Washington State died because he had sex with a horse, problem solved. Again the argument comes up that if it is OK for two people of the same sex can be married than how about three or four and so on. Well, its one thing at a time is my best answer. Laws that change societal norms have to come about a little at a time. I don’t think the majority of people will agree that polygamy or multiple partners in a marriage is a good idea and any judge would risk their position trying to make that situation fly Just look at the trouble that everyone is going through to get approval or disapproval of same sex marriage between two consenting adults. Things do have a tendency to find their level despite all the speculation about future situations. The hardest thing to do is resist getting involved in all the demagoguery and just stay focused on the situation at hand.

I remarked in previous post about how the people that live in the society are the ones that ultimately judge what is acceptable or not and usually the laws and rules follow. You are going to see that there will be states that will make laws strictly forbidding same sex marriage and others that will permit it. This will be a long process and there will be much demagoguery about it from both sides. The majority will be called upon to decide at some point and if Gay activists play it right they can win approval by showing they can fit into the rest of society and be a productive segment that benefits all.

If you enjoy the company of women that are considered to be overweight Kelly, than you are a good person because everyone can use some love. I don’t know of a single place that would fire you because you date or would marry a “fat chick”. You’re above using those types of references about the women that you are attracted to Kelly, I read your blog and your comments here and I find that you are upstanding young man.

I hope that gives you a little insight why I support Gays having the same rights as other Americans. Being Gay is not a choice no matter what you will hear from some so-called conservative organizations. When I listen to people that can only spew hate and contempt for another person than they lose my support. What’s this new organization out in California called “Women for Traditional Values”? Hate mongers Kelly; they are nothing but hate mongers. I have conservative credentials that go way back beyond the Reagan era and I don’t believe spewing hate is the way to go. When there are no categories listing different groups of people in the anti-discrimination laws then I will be satisfied. They will read there shall be no discrimination in hiring, promoting firing in employment, there shall be no discrimination in etc… That was the dream wasn’t it?

10:52 PM

Blogger IbaDaiRon said...

To put it more succinctly, however much you qualify your position with distinctions of active and passive ("I'm not saying that we should....I don't advocate...."), if you support the status quo, you support discrimination. As j_g has said before, "Nuff said."

11:40 PM

Blogger IbaDaiRon said...

Sorry; posted in haste.

"Why is a behavior preference, or a way of thinking about the world, some reason to protect someone?"

Why then do we protect religious belief?

11:46 PM

Blogger Mr K said...

"Men, call your closest male friend and ask him if he wants to go see a movie with you. When he asks which one, you tell him “Brokeback Mountain”. How many of you men are comfortable enough with your own masculinity to attempt that feat?"

Heh... already did. They said no, I went to see it with my girlfriend. Although I suspect that it's not the only thing that puts men off brokeback mountain- it's a love story after all, and that don't sell too well to the male demographic.

Kelly- we protect minorities if they need protection. You mention the man who likes to have sex with midgets. Well he can, and what's more, he can marry the midgets as long as they are the opposite sex. Homosexuals deserve special pleading because they ARE discriminated against, for something that they have no control over. Thats unfair, and should be stopped. Hence legal priveleges.

9:21 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not advocate special privledges for any person or group of people except for the physically handicapped. Then special accomodations need to be employed as far as practical as the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)is concerned. I believe every citizen should be afforded Equal rights not Special rights.

1:31 PM

Blogger Full Metal Attorney said...

Way too many things to respond to . . . so I'll just pick a few.

That's interesting, j_g, that it seems you took my comment about "fat chicks" seriously when clearly none of the rest of it was seriously meant.

"Why then do we protect religious belief?"
Why, indeed? I'm not sure. That same thought occurred to me when I was writing that last comment.

As far as my point on special pleading for homosexuals, I was not confining it to the marriage argument. My point was rather that employers should be allowed to discriminate against homosexuals. It's their own damn loss if they won't hire someone who can do the job and do it well. (I realize the many flaws in this argument, but if you take it in context with the rest of what I said earlier it makes sense. Why protect homosexuals when you don't protect people who like to play hackeysack? Is a matter of enjoying something a choice? No.)

And should we expect homosexuals to abstain completely? I know we live in an imperfect world. I have my vices I'm sure, as does everyone. And no one's perfect. And homosexual behavior is not any worse than any other sin. (And your comment about the Bible's lack of concern over homosexuality is completely off-base, Copernicus. It talks about it as much as any other sin--moreso than some because the authors knew it would be a problem for all time.)
Yes, it's no worse than any other sin. But in my mind, giving special privileges to someone because of their vices is silly. They've already done it to some extent for alcoholics, and probably others. But in my mind that's just silly.

Finally, I'd like to point out that I don't care whether you think homosexuality is wrong or not. Clearly most of you don't think it's wrong. But my position is simply that I don't want to give legal countenance and approval to what is, in my mind, immoral behavior. But it's all about majority rule, and if the majority wants it, then that's democracy. But I want it left up to the majority, because there is no difference, from a judicial standpoint, between homosexual preferences and any other preferences. Judges (as I believe it was Scalia who noted in Lawrence v. Texas) are required to take things to their logical conclusions--so in their world the slippery-slope argument works.

4:11 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kelly, the reason why we are talking about Gays having rights is because Gays have become an organized, vocal and recognized segment of our society. Their pleadings must now be addressed and can no longer be ignored or put off. If put to the American people in a referendum here's how it would go down according to three year old numbers.

65-70 percent would vote against legalizing same sex marriage.
60-65 percent would vote to stop discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation.
45-50 percent would vote to include gays in national hate crimes legislation. Most people don't hate Gays and they don't think it's OK to murder or assault people just because they are Gay but generally most people do not like hate crimes laws that give certain groups the appearance of having special protections. They were the poll numbers from three years ago. I can't remember the margin of error but they are close enough to make my point.

Same sex marriage is still not accepted by the majority and it has a long way to go before it ever becomes the law of the entire country. I do believe though that it is past due to pass national legislation called ENDA (employment non-discrimination act) that has been around for more than 12 years in congress. For any of you that are politically savvy call your congress person and tell them to get off their duff and get this done. There are plenty of Republicans as well as Democrats that support this legislation. Go ahead; make the call, send the email, let your voice be heard. Tell them to bring ENDA to the floor for a vote, it the right thing to do.

We had one Democrat Senator in Delaware thwart the wishes of an entire state by not letting Delaware’s version of ENDA come to the floor for a vote. It was called HB 99 and one Senator named Venables kept the legislation bottled up in the small business committee against the wishes of a clear majority of the State Senate, State House, the Governor and the overwhelming support of the citizens of Delaware. 70 percent of the people in Delaware approved of this measure. That’s all the detail I’ll give but I was and I am still angry over that.

I thought I was retired from all of that, I guess once you start you never really retire.

Anyway Kelly, stick to your beliefs, do not compromise if you think you are doing right. I don’t mean to insult your beliefs or belittle you for them. This is a cause I have worked very hard for and I have spent a considerable amount of time on because I believe it is the right thing to do. I will say it again though, I am not gay but I have a lot of very good friends that are and I love them as if they were my own family because when I look at it closely they are my family. I am a Christian through and through and to me, loving my gay friends is something I feel no shame for.

6:13 PM

Blogger Eric Dutton said...

I was away from my computer for a while so let me clear up my intent in writing my previous post. I WAS playing devil's advocate. I believe that the recent move to constitutionaly ban gay marriage is a frightening develpment. Where else does the constitution show a move from more freadom toward less? I am personally affected very little by this movement, but if we start filling our constitution with restrictions on freedoms (no gay marriage, no flag burning), I think we've changed the spirit of this nation for one that's no longer philosophically grounded.

9:59 PM

Blogger Full Metal Attorney said...

Actually, when you confine it to marriage the argument gests much more difficult. But in my view (and this is the religious view) it does give them special privileges over, for example, pedophiles or people who want to marry animals. But to take the purely secular view I find very little to distinguish homosexual marriage from polygamy or polyamy (is that the right term?). Of course the argument could be made both ways. But states traditionally have been able to legislate morality and I see no reason why homosexual marriage is not a moral issue that can be legislated. As j_g suggests, it is only because they are organized and they are getting people to listen.

And yes, there are reasons to treat homosexuals different from heterosexuals, as I noted in my post which I linked to earlier. Namely, there are more dangerous health effects of homosexual behavior and also because states are free to draw a seemingly arbitrary line between homosexuals and heterosexuals simply because only the latter can bear children, even though they need not do so or personally be able to do so (i.e. the couple is sterile). A rule that a state makes does not need to apply rationally in every situation.

Eric Dutton:
That's an excellent point. I find it very compelling. But then, I am extremely in favor of states' rights, and I think the states should be free to decide these things--especially when it comes to moral matters.

11:30 PM

Blogger IbaDaiRon said...

kelly, arguments from traditional practice seem to me to be specious at best. (OK, Ladies, shoes off and back to the kitchen!)

Pedophilia by definition involves a non-adult, non-legally-responsible individual; that's why it is and should be verboten. And marriage to animals (?!? Where did you get this one?) involves a non-human, so is just silly. (This will have to be revised if we ever encounter an intelligent alien species with whom we are...compatible, of course.) Did you perhaps mean bestiality?

The dangerous health effects primarily affect participants, so as in the case of the hippophile Oregonian, are a matter of individual responsibility. (I have no relevant personal experience, but I imagine there are some health risks involved in having sex with "little people"?) Ah, negative impact on society from increased health care costs? OK, let's just forbid insurance coverage and treatment to homosexuals. And to smokers and alcoholics, people who don't eat right and exercise, etc. Let them all reap as they have sown, right?

And of course no homosexual couple should ever be allowed to adopt. Ah, better require lesbian couples to get their tubes tied, no? And prohibit their resorting to reproductive technologies such as artificial insemination.

"A rule that a state makes does not need to apply rationally in every situation."

Or justly, either, I suppose.

Shifting the burden of "moral legislation" to the states would simply complicate the situation and create the potential for local discrimination. There must be restrictions even on majority rule.

1:02 AM

Blogger The Language Guy said...

Kelly, I am disheartened that you had decided to abandon your capacity for thought to what really amounts to what is just your interpretation of a document nearly 2000 years old written by superstitious and uninformed people with various axes to grind besides the core of their religious beliefs.

If we are all created in God's image and if it is true, as it clearly is, that homosexuals are as they are because of their genetic makeup, then they too are made in the image of God. It follows then that God's image is flexible. It includes Blacks as well as Whites, Women as well as Men, and Homosexuals as well as Breeders like you. That seems to me like a God one might be able to respect a little bit.

If you know any homosexuals you will find that many are quite moral and make significant contributions to society. They are in no way deviant so far as I can tell. They are not alone in engaging in oral and anal sex. So do straights. They are no more likely to engage in pedophilia or rape or other sexual crimes. You really need to flush your mind out with some intellectual drano and start over.

8:07 AM

Blogger Full Metal Attorney said...

Aarrrghhh. It's like people didn't even read what I wrote. There must be some huge basic misunderstanding that I'm not getting to the core of, and it's preventing me from making my point.

I think everyone still begs the question that being "homosexual" is the same as being "black" or "woman" or "Norwegian." No one would have thought that way at least until the 1970's. Before then it was something some people liked to do. Now it's something some people are, and it permeates their entire being. Why? No one has explained this to my satisfaction.

I do not dispute that people who like to have sex with other people of the same sex can also make very valuable contributions to society.

Yes, all people are created in God's image. But if you want to think inside that paradigm, then it does not follow that God is a sinner. It also does not follow that homosexuals can't go to heaven, because there's no reason that being gay is any different from being a murderer or a coveter. It's all the same in God's eyes. But I also don't think that God would approve of us recognizing particular sins as something that someone can't help. We can all help it. Denying that is giving up and praising what is evil.

And this is the last I will say about the subject, at least for a while. It's kind of exasperating, but I'm sure you find me to be the same.

12:05 PM

Blogger The Language Guy said...

Actually, it is you who is not getting the point. Homosexuals are citizens and, as J_G has pointed at several times by now I suspect and better than I will, as such they enjoy the same legal rights you have. That includes the right to marry and, what is most important legally, get the tax benefits and health benefits and whatever other benefits accrue to married people. Without Gay Civil Unions or Marriages in churches that accept such marriages, they are denied these rights. That's discrimination based on sexual orientation and it is exactly like being Black. Both are genetically determined or, in the case of Gays, if not genetically determined, determined before people have reached the age of informed consent, a circumstance that would make their circumstance a bit different from being Black. I suppose you don't talk to gay people -- can't imagine why they would talk to you given you views. If you had you would understand their histories and what these histories mean. Men who can't get women in bed don't turn gay just to get someone in bed. It is not a matter of choice and given that, any religion that sees what consenting gays (or heterosexuals, since they engage in the same things) do in bed as a sin should be abandoned as being just plain too stupid to be a part of.

12:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The opposition to gay marriage movement is one example of how much time is spent minding other people's business. My opinion has always been that if you are somehow damaged or offended by a gay mariage then it is because you choose to be and not because any actual harm has been done to you (or anybody else).

Marriage is, first and foremost, a legal and social contract. I cannot believe there is a single valid argument against two consenting adults entering into an agreement of this kind, no matter their gender(s).

j_g's point about homosexuals being citizens and having the same legal right is spot on.

12:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, please no disparaging remarks. It is difficult enough to negotiate through these waters without personal insults being introduced into the mix.

I'll attempt another approach here because I think enough of Kelly to try and explain my position because I also consider myself to be a Christian.

For many Christian denominations there may be no way to square homosexuality with those Christian beliefs. That is just a fact and it has to be dealt with as such. I do not disparage them for believing that and they are free to believe that way. What we are talking about is setting public policy of a recognized group in a Constitutional Republic. Many opinions and considerations have to be discussed and deliberated upon before any established public policy can be changed. Even though homosexuality may be morally repugnant to segments of the population Gays are still a recognized segment of the society. This is indicated by many States, local governments, corporations and religious organizations having policies for recognizing Gays as a legitimate and viable segment of the overall community. This recognition did not happen overnight and the energy expended to accomplish this recognition was tremendous but it is not over. I am proud to say that I have contributed no small amount of time to this cause.

Anyway, public policy has to include all legitimate segments of the society even if one group has an objection to another group being considered legitimate. That time has passed; the Gay community has been established as being legitimate and now it is time include them in with the rest as being “Full Citizens”.

Those laws and policies that do include Gays as full citizens will have to be written
(as most are) to exclude their implementation on Churches and Church owned and run schools. The Gay community has come a long way too and they understand the need to write the laws this way. I have rarely heard any objection to these exceptions.

I hope this helps you to understand what the real issue is; it is about recognizing and being fair to all of the people and not just favoring the wishes of one or many powerful groups in a Constitutional Republic. Just remember this Kelly, come judgment day you will be standing there all by yourself as I will and not as a nation that you believe has gone down the highway to hell.


2:22 PM

Blogger Full Metal Attorney said...

I am surprised that you would result to such ad hominem attacks, L_G. As I said, i will remain silent on the ultimate issue. But yes, in fact, I have been friends with self-identified homosexuals. And yes, I have listened to them. I don't think they're worse than anyone else in the world. But I don't think that I can make my view known in a way that can be accepted as a valid world-view by the majority here. And that's sad, to me, and to me it seems to be intolerant.

I have known people who resort to insulting other people's views and arguments simply because they don't know how to respond to them or they don't understand them. I have also known perfectly logical and rational people who become illogical and irrational when certain topics are on the table (i.e. Roe v. Wade). I'm honestly not sure whether I'm being the latter or whether you are being the former on this particular issue. And I don't suppose I will ever know for sure, but I have my ideas and I know that you do too. But I urge you to examine that question, as I have.

I think that perhaps your hostility toward religion may cloud your assessment of my views. But then, similar arguments can be made against me.

So, in order to facilitate further discussion on other subjects, I continue to remain silent on this one, at least for now.

5:07 PM

Blogger IbaDaiRon said...

kelly, although I do not (=no longer) share it, I recognize your world-view as valid. For you as a person. What I object to is the attempt to force other people to live in accordance with it by basing legislation on your "morality". ("Other people" meaning those who are "normal" in the sense of non-socio-/psycho-pathic or otherwise mentally ill, so please don't counter that with something along the lines of discrimination against serial killers or pedophiles. After all, by the Golden Rule, a masochist is obligated to go around tying up and beating people, right?)

I agree with your point that being a homosexual differs from being Black or a woman in that these are completely determined by genetics. (Ignoring the fact that hormonal imbalances, etc., during gestation can affect the latter of the two.) But I would place "Norwegian" (assuming you didn't mean just the pale, blonde, blue-eyed stereotypical somatotype) at the other end of the "nature-nurture" scale: A couple in Oslo could adopt an infant from Lagos and when the child grew up he/she would be a Norwegian. I believe, based on what I have read, that homosexuality lies somewhere between the two; but of course the jury is still out.

Not to attack you, just to clarify: why the present perfect ("have been friends")? Are you no longer friends with them?

(Earlier I made a rash statement about restrictions on majority rule. I'm not proposing ANY change to our governmental machinery as it already has sufficient safeguards built in to protect against lapses in majority judgement. E.g., Prohibition & its repeal.)

7:53 PM

Blogger The Language Guy said...

Kelly, you are right that my ill-tempered remarks reflect my views on religion and religious people who believe that they have the right, nay the duty, to impose their will on others. I personally despise fundamentalist Christianity. I am 67 years old and haved been despising it for maybe 56 of those years. I am weary of you people who think you can set the moral parameters by which we must all regulate our lives.

10:14 PM

Blogger Full Metal Attorney said...

L_G: Thanks for the honesty. I appreciate it.

IbaDaiRon: I have failed to keep in touch with my homosexual friends, as I have failed to keep in touch with all but a handful of people from high school and undergraduate college. I haven't met any homosexuals yet at law school, at least not to my knowledge.

Final point: morality has often been the subject of legislation. (I.e. prostitution, which from my standpoint is very similar to homosexuality, although clearly not the same thing. Homosexuality I think has a stronger argument in its favor.) Whether that is proper I suppose is up to debate, and that's why we're here, isn't it?

It's been a long time since a post has inspired me to comment this much. Thanks, L_G!

10:58 PM

Blogger Saharan Wind said...

But do you need a piece of paper, someone, an institution, or something to tell you or the world that you love each other?

2:56 AM

Blogger IbaDaiRon said...

OK; I'm the last person can cast stones about not keeping in touch with people!

I'm repeating myself, but I believe past practice is a weak justification. That morality has often been the subject of legislation does not mean that it should continue to be so.

6:13 AM

Blogger Full Metal Attorney said...

Well said, Ibadairon. I imagine it would be difficult when you move to the other side of the Pacific, as opposed to first a two-hour drive and then an additional half-hour drive. But then, they didn't really try to keep in touch with me either, so it's not entirely my fault. It's just efficiency.

I think the question of whether morality should be the subject of legislation is the real question in the homosexuality issue, and it needs some frank discussion because it has large application outside this issue.

12:31 PM

Blogger demondoll said...

LG, thank you for expressing it all so well.

11:51 PM

Blogger Marc André Bélanger said...

What I find interesting about the Bible's comments of homosexuality as a sin, is that it is mainly found in two sections, the Genesis chapter about Sodom, and Paul'S letters. The former has Lot, who is presented as the epitomy of goodness, saying to a mob, "I have two daughters who have never been married. I'll bring them out, and you can do what you want with them." (Genesis 19, 6) The latter says a lot of interesting things, like "[Women] should be silent and not be allowed to teach or to tell men what to do." (1 Timothy 2, 12) Funny how people just keep what the want from that book.

This being said, like I heard someone point out, don't you think that Las Vegas weddings do more to destroy this institution than any same sex marriage legislation?

12:45 PM

Blogger Full Metal Attorney said...

Personally, I keep all of it, Marc. You just need to take it all in context. The former situation shows the incredible hospitality of Lot. He had male guests (who turn out to be angels) in his house, and the people wanted him to give them up so they could have sex with them. Realizing that he needed to do something about the mob, he gave them his daughters in order to protect his guests. And I don't see anything wrong with the other portion of Paul's letters which you quote.

I also don't understand the problem people have with the account of Abraham and Isaac. People like to point to that as evidence of the irrationality of religion. Apparently those people didn't read the whole account.

12:54 PM

Blogger IbaDaiRon said...

he gave them his daughters

He most certainly DID NOT. He offered the mob his daughters to protect his guests. His refusal ticked the mob off mightily and as they were preparing to take out their anger on Lot himself, the visitors pulled him back into the house and blinded the crowd. The daughters were never touched.

I guess I was closer to the mark with my earlier "barefoot and in the kitchen" allusion than I realized. Unfortunately.

What's the problem people have with Abraham and Isaac? Abraham was a man of great faith who had already been found righteous in the eyes of God. And still Yahweh pulls his hallmark faith-testing routine. (Ah, poor Job!) The irrationality of religion lies in the self-delusional capacity of people to call such an egotistical sadist GOOD, let alone God. (And WHAT is with this amazing omniscience mojo that can't penetrate a flimsy human cranium and determine what's snappin' in the synapses within? Why do all these people have to continually prove their faith when He should already know what is in their "hearts"?) Jesus almost pulled off a major image remake with his "God of Love" PR campaign, but Paul effectively put an end to all that when he seized control of the church.

When "reading the whole account", be sure to read between the lines as well. (By the way, what aspect of human law are you planning to specialize in? Sorry, I haven't read everything on your blog yet.)

1:46 PM

Blogger IbaDaiRon said...

Ah, forgot to include something relevant to the topic:

The prohibitions against homosexuality in Leviticus can be simply viewed as wise eugenics. When you are a minority population you don't want anyone engaging in non-reproductive sexual activities or carrying around any genes that might lead to a tendency to such.

As for Paul, he was against sex, period. He only allowed marriage for people who couldn't live without it. Some serious maladjustment between his ears, I'd say. (Could probably make a case for envy/anger on the part of ole Yahweh, too. I mean, look at the hijinks most of the members of the other pantheons were up to, basically pinning anything that moved.)

Thus some would have us live, obeying old precepts that have outlived their usefulness and following the lead of the arguably mentally ill....

2:08 PM

Blogger Full Metal Attorney said...

He didn't actually give them his daughters? I suppose I confused that part of the story with another wherein a woman was raped to death. I'm not sure where that is.

As far as the testing of faith, I don't think God is doing it for his own benefit. I think they're meant as examples for others to follow. The Gospels often include passages where Jesus asks a question to which he already knows the answer--something lawyers do (you never ask a witness a question when you don't know the answer) in order to make a point to other people (the lawyer's target is the jury).

I'm not sure how to respond to Paul's preference for non-marriage and chastity. I haven't spent much time thinking about that, so I'll abstain from discussing it (pun not intended).

3:05 PM

Blogger Marc André Bélanger said...

You just need to take it all in context.
Exactly. In a society where procreation is of the utmost importance, homosexuality will be banned, seen as bad. )And so would any sexual activity that would not be procreation-oriented.) We have to ask ourselves, is it still the case in our society. A lot of what Paul (and others) said doesn’t apply anymore or wasn’t of much consequence (e.g. women should have long hair, men’s should be short). So why should not homosexuality be taken in context also?

3:23 PM

Blogger Sean said...

I have been reading these posts with a growing sense of dismay and fell that it was time to throw in my two cents. There's been something missing from this debate (though perhaps I missed it buried in one of the posts), and that is the view point of someone who is actually gay. So here we go, I'm a homo.

I've heard pseudo-arguments like Kelly's for years, and they've always been ridiculous. Comparisons of homosexual behavior to pedophiles and to bestiality is just shoddy logic, and profoundly insulting, thank you for that. The point was made earlier, and I will reiterate it, that what is lacking in pedophilia and bestiality is consent. We accept that animals cannot make up their own mind, and we accept that before a certain age children cannot make up their own mind. To have sex with either violates their right to consensual sex, I right I think we can all agree on. The men I have had sex with consented, as did I, no rights where violated. Stop making these comparisons, it’s insulting and it makes you sound like an idiot.

So you say that the behavior is the problem, that it is a sin in the eyes of god and all sins are equally bad in his eyes, etc.etc. But why is it wrong? For as long as I have been looking at the Bible and reading all those insane passages (the insanity going far beyond the homosexual issue) I have never actually seen a REASON why it is bad. "God says so" is one reason usually given, and who are we to question god? It reminds me the serial killer who said "My dog told me to do it". I can’t quite believe his dog talked to him, and I can’t quite believe that god would say that. And if you’re going to state that as the reason you are against homosexuals then I suggest you start doing EVERYTHING god said in the bible instead of picking and choosing your Devine Dictates. I doubt you’d get much support for that from women or the blended fiber industry..

The statement is also made that “it is against nature.” I can tell you, for once and for all, homosexuality is not a choice. I did not choose this any more than you chose to be straight. It is then said that acting out on my desires is a choice, and I have to agree with you there. I could choose not to sleep with men, as anyone could choose not to sleep with anyone. But I’m still waiting to know WHY it’s wrong to sleep with men if it’s natural that I am homosexual. Because sex between the same gender is against nature? But I am naturally this way... and we’re firmly into a circular argument that defies logic. And I urge you to read the book “Homosexuality in History” by Colin Spencer, the first chapter is a good overview of homosexuality in animal species. I’m not sure if squirrels can be sent to hell for homosexual sins, but if they can there a ton of them down there.

But all these defenses of homosexuality against your attacks can be chalked up as self-serving rationalizations, and so let’s cut the crap. You don’t like homosexuality, you don’t like homosexuals and you don’t like what they do because you’ve been told we’re bad by your religion and you don’t want to go against what your religion says. You come up with your own self-serving rationalizations so that you can save your beliefs from collapse. I’m sick to death of having to defend the profound love I have feel for some men in my life because of your silly dogmatic beliefs. You want to have faith in something? Have faith that I’m not a deviant, that I am just like you, that I want to love and be loved the same as you, that I want to do good in this world and leave it a better place than when I arrived.

Someday perhaps we will all give up on these myths we cling to in our search for meaning. I don’t expect that to happen anytime soon, so I will fight to have my rights protected from people who wish to keep me from them. I will not be fired because I’m gay (and by the way, if you play hackysack when you should be working, you should be fired, I don’t care how much you like it, and again to compare the two is insulting and ignorant of who I am). I will not be kicked out of my residence because I’m gay. And I will not be kept from marrying the man that I love because you’re squeamish about two men kissing or because you think your god has a problem with it. Surround your opinions in as much rationalization as you wish, but in the end your opinions have a direct effect on my happiness, and for that reason I will object and challenge any voice you give to your opinion on this matter and especially any action you take. Much lip service is paid to one’s right to an opinion on these blogs, but the moment you open your mouth and state that opinion I have the right to object and challenge your opinion as wrong. And there IS such a thing as a wrong opinion people. Your right to hold an opinion does not make your opinion right. If we could abandon this concept of absolute subjectivity in all things and again base our decisions on the quality of one’s argument we would all be better off.

Now do I expect to change Kelly’s mind with this post? No, he's way to far gone to worry about any more. Buy perhaps someone else will read this who is still questioning and they will find some better answers than he has. Hopefully some reason and compassion will interject here and the opinions Kelly and others like him have will be seen for what they are; plainly ridiculous.

4:35 PM

Blogger Pastry Chef said...

So there's this club, see. It's the Ponytail Club. And everyone in the Ponytail Club wears a ponytail and believes firmly that the ponytail is the superior hair style. It is their belief that all other hairstyles - or indeed, head adornment - are inferior to the ponytail.

They meet periodically to admire one another's spectacular ponytails, and to hold sessions wherein they extoll the virtues of the ponytail to one another. They write letters to fashion magazines and they shun those who do not share their chosen passion for the ponytail.

But they save their visciousness for bald people. They believe that bald people secretly shave their heads in an effort to ruin ponytails forever. They think that bald people would be happier if they'd just try to grow a ponytail, or wear a wig.

And some bald people do try. But most of then are just kinda sad. They have a comb-over, or an obvious Hair Club number that doesn't really look like real hair.

But some bald people wear their smooth scalps as proudly as Ponytail Club members wear their chosen hairstyle. And that infuriates the Ponytail Club. They issue press releases, have talking points, and even promote their own hair club products. But none of it has helped bald people who just can't grow a ponytail.

In the end, it's kinda sad when you think that people who chose to be in the Ponytail Club would persecute people who are bald and just can't help it.

5:33 PM

Blogger Full Metal Attorney said...

"To have sex with either violates their right to consensual sex, I right I think we can all agree on."

I'm too exhausted of this particular debate to respond to much else, but technically animals have no consent right. They're property, so in a legal sense, beastiality law is purely morality law.

Also, I'm not picking and choosing anything from the Bible. The book of Acts contains a passage which has picked and chosen for me--the only Old Testament law (aside from the two greatest commandments mentioned by Christ--love God and love your neighbor) which applies to Gentiles is that which applies to the eating of strangled animals and that which applies to sexual morality.

5:54 PM

Blogger Full Metal Attorney said...

I'd like to add that if you want to get rid of all morality law, you would also have to get rid of all laws that prohibit animal cruelty. I don't think that's a result we want to reach.

5:56 PM

Blogger Pastry Chef said...

Kelly, you claim to be exhausted, but post twice for good measure? Laugh...

What makes you think your book is better than anyone elses? There are no facts backing up your book. No research. No imperical evidence. Nothing. And yet people are supposed to behave differently because you say your book is right?

I'm sorry, but you don't set the rules. You may pay your lobbyists in the name of moral absolutism, but that doesn't make you right. I makes you a bigot, among other things, but not right.

6:13 PM

Blogger Sean said...

You may be exhausted on this topic, but we are not, most probably because it's our lives that you're messing with. I will make a few more points and then leave it be, unless you want to continue the topic.

It is settled law that animals have rights, and while they may not have rights tied to conscious decision, the fact that they are not conscious allows them certain protections, mainly the protection from those that would take advantage of them. Just because they are your property does not mean you get to rape them. But that, I think, is beside the point of this topic.

You are picking and choosing from the bible when you try to make all the pieces line up, because they don't. Parts are in conflict (thou shalt not kill/stone people to death, love they neighbor/condemn him to hell). You pick and choose those parts that suit you at the time, and rationalize away the picking, claiming you're not being selective at all but just following the word of god. It's dishonest and self serving, I have no respect for it.

Throughout your posts you have reiterated that homosexuality is a “behavior”, unlike being black or being a woman, two groups you have said you support protection for. This it seems is where your fundamental ignorance begins. Homosexual is something that I AM, not something that I DO. While the fact that I am gay leads me to behave in particular ways, ways different than yourself perhaps, the fact remains that it is part of my genetic code (I’m tired of people trying to deny that fact too). I heard someone remark recently “When will people start to accept the human reality of homosexuality?” I ask myself that same thing.

One last thought. Through all this talk of “choice” and “behavior” and “will destroy the moral fabric of the world” rhetoric, there is a fact that seems to be over looked. Homosexuals do not choose to be gay, and from what I’ve seen fabulous interior decoration, tasteful foot wear, good hair cuts and dancing the night away have not had much of a negative impact on the world, quite the contrary I think. Religious people choose to be such, their behavior radiates from that choice, and the world is in constant turmoil because of those choices and behaviors. I think the wrong group is being vilified.

7:59 PM

Blogger IbaDaiRon said...

I suppose I confused that part of the story with another wherein a woman was raped to death. I'm not sure where that is.

Judges 19:1-30. Took all of a minute to find. (The end of the story is particularly enlightening.)

The Gospels often include passages where Jesus asks a question to which he already knows the answer...in order to make a point to other people....

The works of Plato are rife with this as well. It's known as the Socratic Method. I've heard the "example for others" argument before, btw. Right...nice deity.

The book of Acts contains a passage....

I assume you're referring to Acts 15:19, which quotes the letter sent with Paul to validate the accord reached during the "Jerusalem Council". (In case the details are fuzzy, this is when the [real] apostles and [true] church in Jerusalem summoned Paul to give an account of the new gospel he was spreading amongst the goyim.)

Sean has already touched on this while I was writing, but:

...animals have no consent right. ...get rid of all laws that prohibit animal cruelty.

Obviously as beings of a different order of existence animals and plants do not deserve the same rights we accord to ourselves. But this does not mean that we cannot agree to grant them certain different rights. After all, they ARE our several-millionth cousins several million times removed. Why can't we grow a little and move beyond "Sixth Day Dominionism" (Gen. 1:28)?

(Seriously, and hopefully not too nasty-sounding-ly, I "pray" that you are more careful in your citation of legal precedents than you are being with scripture here! : )

8:51 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

Point of language: it's not GAY marriage, it's same-sex marriage. This may seem like a triviality, but honestly, it's not. In fact, the rightwingers should be the FIRST to point out the difference.

I would ask Kelly to consider of what value entering into a loving, romantic, intimate relationship with another man would be for him. Consider the kissing, the knowing smiles between him and his fella from across the room, the shared joys of buying a house or finding an apartment together. Couples dinner parties with him and his beau. Anniversary dinners and Valentine's Day dinners together in their favorite romantic restaurants. Flowers sent to his husband's office on special days.

The lovemaking, the passion. the physical intensity that only two people deeply in love can share.

The assumed rights that all legalities for decision-making and healthcare and inheritance provide an unthinking and unspoken comfort to one another, knowing that no one else can put asunder the bonds and commitment the two have forged for one another.

Y'know, all that stuff.

How much value is the institution to you, Kelly, if you were only allowed to have all of that for yourself with another man (assuming you are heterosexual)? I suspect the value to you would measure up (or down) to exactly the value of a homosexual towards opposite-sex marriage.

In MA, you don't have to prove you're homosexual to marry another man. You just have to sign the license. That's all. You'd have the exact same right as any bonafide homosexual to a same-sex marriage, just as any bonafide homosexual has a right to an opposite-sex marriage.

Would your marriage to a man be a sham? If so, would that add or substract from the "institution of marriage" if it were?

I find it most disturbing that so many people choose NOT to have their rights expanded, whether or not they would exercise those rights in the first place.

10:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well maybe I can add a small amount of perspective here. If you are not born Gay than no amount of so-called indoctrination is going to make you or anyone else Gay. Just because you are Gay does not mean you are a pedophile. There is enough room in this country for all of us.

This is for Christians that are having a problem with this subject; The Pharisees, testing Jesus asked him what the greatest commandment is. Jesus replied “You shall love your Lord thy God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest commandment. And a second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole law and the prophets”.
(Matthew 22, 37-40) and later on in Peter says in 4 8 “Love covers a multitude of sins”.

Well, I don’t know about any of the rest of you Christians that may reading this but Jesus, my Lord and savior is telling me to love my neighbor and then one of his apostles is telling me that love will cover a multitude of sins. I’m 48 years old and I have a lot of sins to cover so I started loving my neighbors instead of hating them and that doesn’t mean I have to sleep or have sex with them or wear the same clothes or like the same foods but I sure can show them my love by helping them get fair treatment when comes to the essentials of life like a job, house or a ride on the bus. What more of an explanation does anyone need? ;-o

2:03 AM

Blogger The Language Guy said...

Kelly, you must be exhausted by trying to defend the undefendable (without using the Bible as your source, which, as I have said, is unwelcome on this site since it is not something we can all potentially agree on) when you bring up animal rights to support your view that we do pass laws predicated on moral beliefs so discriminating against Gays is okay.

If I haven't already made this point, let me say now that laws predicated on moral beliefs are acceptable when their acceptance is spread throught the country between religious folks of all faiths, agnostics, and athiests but not when it does not have this sort of universal acceptance. Animal rights laws, incest laws, having explicit sex in a public park (by anyone), etc. are widely condemned and not rooted solely in some Biblical text.

In fact, same sex marriage will not happen until the people become comfortable with it. That's a simple fact. It should be the obligation of moral people to try to speed up this acceptance becase it is based on Biblical texts and on something akin to Pavlovian conditioning. Read the first bit of my blog where I say I formed a negative view of gays when my mother pointed one out in a negative way when I was young and certainly not yet at the age of informed consent. It was pure conditioning reflecting the prejudice of my mother, which, by the way, changed over the years into acceptance.

8:06 AM

Blogger Full Metal Attorney said...

"If I haven't already made this point, let me say now that laws predicated on moral beliefs are acceptable when their acceptance is spread throught the country between religious folks of all faiths, agnostics, and athiests but not when it does not have this sort of universal acceptance."

That's the first time I've heard that justification for having some moral laws but not others. Bravo for making the argument, because it's a very good one. But it doesn't allow for judges to pick and choose which morals they want on any principled basis. That is the biggest fear I have. It is the problem I have today in the abortion controversy, because the people never got their say on an issue of deep importance to all people, not just women (if you don't believe that then you don't understand the other side--look here for better understanding).

If you want to put it to a vote, that's great. I'm all for democracy and the republic, regardless of the outcome, because majority rule is the basis of our system of government.

Although I said I would refrain from speaking to the ultimate issue here again, Sean has made a false statement of fact that I feel I must correct. Homosexualty is not 100% genetic. As with all behaviors, preferences, and predispositions, it is at least partially genetic--but none of them as complex as something like sexuality are 100% genetic. There have been identical twin studies on the subject, and not all identical twins have the same sexual preference (I believe that when one twin is gay they have found a 50% chance that the other is also gay, but don't quote me on the exact figure). If I am not mistaken, some studies have found that nurture has more effect on sexual preference than does nature. Of course, the fact remains (and I agree with this) that homosexual preferences are not a choice, because the influences all happen at too young an age to avoid them, but please stop saying that it's "genetic" because this gives the impression of a falsehood.

Finally, I don't bring the Bible into anything. I only defend my positions based on it when they are attacked. I only cited it as the basis for my moral belief, and it's as good as any basis for moral belief.

9:59 AM

Blogger uglygirl said...

i wonder how many years will it take to have this debate come to india. homosexuality is a criminal offence in india. still.

Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with 152[imprisonment for life], or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

10:34 AM

Blogger Pastry Chef said...

So, Kelly, you admit that genetics and early-life experiences (perhaps even hormonal climate in the womb?) can predispose one to a homosexual orientation, yet you continue to advocate for discrimination and persecution of gays?

Do you advocate for persecution of Jews, Muslims, or Christians? Those are purely choice. Nothing more. Oh, you might make the early-life experiences argument, but even that would be pretty weak.

Are you trying to make your position even more indefensable than it already is? You just said, effectively, "I know gay people can't help what they are, but I don't like them and ... oh, well, there's this bazillion year old book of fairytales that says I should hate them, too, so it's OK."

Look, I tried to be cute about it earlier, but apparently you didn't understand. You chose a belief system that persecutes people for things even you admit they have no control over. You made a choice, unlike the people you villify. How convenient for you that your chosen faith makes you feel as though your bigotry is justified when even you admit that the criteria for your discrimination are invalid.

"But," you seem to say, "if everyone feels that way, it's OK." Which is to say that you believe in the old idea of Might Equals Right, or essentially, the voting majority should be able to do whatever they like to whomever they wish.

That concept is also called The Tyranny of the Majority. You might want to look it up. Advocating for that doesn't make you seem very... well, Christian.

And as Language Guy has said, arguments based on your book of faith have no weight. You might as well be claiming that unicorns and dragons are real and attempting to defend your position with tales from ancient folklore.

If you're going to advocate for preserving a system that discriminates against me and my partner, you had better have something more substantial than fairytales to back yourself up.

But that's all you've got, isn't it? That, and your own biases and insecurities.

1:07 PM

Blogger Full Metal Attorney said...

"yet you continue to advocate for discrimination and persecution of gays"

I have never, ever, not even once advocated for the persecution of or discrimination against homosexuals. I don't advocate for discrimination against alcoholics either, and in my mind the two are remarkably similar, although not the same thing.

My position can be summed up thusly:
1. As far as government and laws go, I am very pro-democracy and pro-republic. It's a government by the people in the US, and I believe strongly in that. I think it would be wrong for SCOTUS to overstep its authority and say that recognition of homosexual marriage is constitutionally required because that's nowhere in the Constitution.
2. Homosexuality is sinful according to my interpretation of the Bible. I doubt there's anything you could say to change that, not because I won't listen to and consider your arguments but because I've already listened to and considered a great number of them, and I doubt you can come up with a new one.
3. As far as my idea of government is concerned, you can do anything you want behind closed doors. But as soon as you ask me to recognize a relationship as equal to mine, when in my mind it is not, then that seems wrong to me. I don't want to say that being an alcoholic is OK either.
4. I wouldn't "lobby" for anything in regard to same-sex marriage, for or against, because it's not that high on my list of priorities. I would vote against it because I think everyone deserves their say on moral issues like it.

And with that, I will discontinue all posting in this thread. Misrepresent fact or my position however you want, and please continue to make your arguments if you feel it's necessary. All valid arguments enrich those who hear them and read them.

1:50 PM

Blogger Full Metal Attorney said...

P.S. I will continue to read additional posts in this thread.

1:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pastry Chef,
You responded to Kelly: You chose a belief system that persecutes people for things even you admit they have no control over. You made a choice, unlike the people you vilify. How convenient for you that your chosen faith makes you feel as though your bigotry is justified when even you admit that the criteria for your discrimination are invalid.

Please do not make it sound as if all Christians believe that discrimination and bigotry is norm for our faith. Christians are divided on how to treat Gays. The Christian faith has as many bigots and ignorant people among their ranks as with the rest of society. Bigotry comes from fear and ignorance and Christians are obviously not immune to those human characteristics. I feel it is part of my faith as a Christian to educate and inform other Christians that it is OK to “Love thy Neighbor” without approving of their way of life. I have a friend that fashions herself to be a witch for goodness sakes but I don't want to take her out and burn her at the stake or put a giant stone on top of her and press her to death. By the way, she doesn’t float very well either.

I don’t just associate myself with other Christians; I have a broad spectrum of friends with many different beliefs outside of my church. I don’t drink but does that mean I can’t go to a restaurant and have dinner with friends that do. Does that mean I should get up and leave if they want to have a glass of wine or mixed drink with dinner? I’m not so much concerned about making comments about different beliefs to people that are not Christians. I am however concerned with others that claim to be Christians that can only fear others and believe that they do not deserve the same rights and respect as Christians do.

I’m done!

4:16 PM

Blogger IbaDaiRon said...

I have never, ever, not even once advocated for the persecution of or discrimination against homosexuals.

And I maintain that by supporting the status quo you are doing just that.

As for similarities between homosexuality and alcoholism, once you go beyond discussion of a genetic predisposition for both I think you're on fairly shaky ground.

Re your summation:
1. The majority is not always right, and its opinion not writ in stone. SCOTUS is well within its mandate when it strikes down state laws that it deems discriminatory. And the Constitution, unlike other more ancient "living" documents we could name, is always open to amendment. And the reversion thereof.
2. Your personal beliefs are NONE OF MY BUSINESS. You're free to believe what you choose, for whatever reason, behind the "closed doors" of your mind, and to discuss and proclaim those beliefs in public under the principle of free speech.
3. As a private citizen you are free to be offended as much as you choose. The recognition of the equality of relationships is a matter of law. Other than religious indignation, you have not provided one valid reason why homosexual relationships should not be recognized and provided the same protections and benefits as heterosexual ones. (Your continuing [near] equation of homosexuality with an illness characterized by physical and psychological dependence is [no doubt] insulting.)
4. I'm sorry that you view your right "to have [your] say on moral issues" like this as extending into the public, political process. But the danger of what should remain purely private matters being thrust into the public arena is one we must live with under our system. Frankly, I find your position inconsistent at best: you won't advocate active persecution or blatant discrimination, or "lobby" one way or the other, but if someone else does all the dirty work, you'll happily cast your vote against.

If we're in the summation phase now, I will conclude by reiterating my initial premise: Marriage should be abolished as a sphere for government involvement.

5:53 PM

Blogger Sean said...

I too will throw up one last post and then perhaps let the matter rest for awhile, though it will certainly arise again someplace if not in this forum.

Kelly, hopefully you are good on your promise to read these posts. I will take issue one last time with your constant reference to “sexual preferences” and “homosexual behavior”. “Sexual preferences” are things along the lines of “I like to do it with the lights out,” “I like it when she spanks me” or “I like it doggie style” (and amazingly there are no dogs involved in this last one!). I do not just “prefer” sex with men over sex with women, just as you do not merely “prefer” sex with women over men. Some amount of sexual programming, be it from genetics or from some other source, creates a drive for male attraction, perhaps the same way women are attracted to men, or men are attracted to women. I have yet to see anyone change that drive, ex-gay ministries have been proven ineffective time and again (usually with the founders running off to get same sex marriages in Norway or some such thing). We’re not changing, we can’t, we don’t want to, and we shouldn’t have to. Run away if you like, passive aggressively keep rights from us, but we’re here to stay. The country is having to deal with us now.

Finally, I have this observation. You have decided that homosexuality (or it’s behavior, or how ever you want to catagorize it) is wrong, just as alcoholism and bestiality are wrong, hence the reason they are placed on the same plane in your comments. As any self aware and responsibly thoughtful person should do, imagine for a moment that you are incorrect, that in fact there is nothing wrong with being or acting homosexual, that it a natural byproduct of life and sexuality and that no harm will come from it. Take an HONEST look at it, stripping away as many preconceived notions as you can, and instead of imagining the worst, imagine the best. I think the one thing stopping you from going down that path, what stops nearly all in your position, is that that line of thought suddenly calls into question your faith in the what you see as the will and the word of god. It’s a line few have the strength to cross, and in the end it is the root of your greatest weakness; mental rigidity. It pervades all thought and keeps you from the truth, because you have already decided what the truth is. As someone going into law I would hope you treat the law with more care than you have treated this topic. Otherwise I fear you will perpetuate injustice again and again against those who don’t deserve it, and only because you have the audacity and the pride to think that you already know the right answers.

I’m done too. Everyone now go have your preferred style of sex with the consenting adult of your choice. And marry them if you love them.

6:30 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

Kelly said:
Although I said I would refrain from speaking to the ultimate issue here again, Sean has made a false statement of fact that I feel I must correct. Homosexualty is not 100% genetic!

Kelly, asserting the opposite is NOT a valid correction. Where are the references for your statement?

11:29 PM

Blogger Pastry Chef said...

Thank you, Kelly, for restating your positions one more time. Just to recap, they were:

1) You think it's OK to discriminate against anyone the majority dislikes. You think racial segregation should be reinstated.
2) You think homosexuality is sinful and unnatural even though you agreed that it is a natural condition outside the control of homosexual people. You're also the smartest person in the world.
3) You believe alcoholics should be deprived thousands of rights you take for granted. You think you are the best judge of right and wrong.
4) You don't advocate for discrimination, and your advocacy of discrimination multiple times in this public forum wasn't really what it seemed. You furthermore think everyone should get a say in everyone else's life.

It's amazing the breadth of Christianity we've seen in this thread. While Kelly clearly uses Christianity as a crutch to prop up his own unfounded and illogical personal biases, J_G has exemplified the message of love and acceptance told in the stories of Christ.

You'd almost think they were two different religions.

1:13 PM

Blogger IbaDaiRon said...

You'd almost think they were two different religions.

Christianity vs. Paulianity, perhaps?

: )

1:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

pastry chef said:
J_G has exemplified the message of love and acceptance told in the stories of Christ.

Please do not credit me with this. I am merely passing along the things other Christians have done for me when when I needed love and acceptance. That's the way it is supposed to work I believe.

6:10 PM

Blogger Full Metal Attorney said...

Turning myself into a liar by posting again, but oh well:

"According to their data, 52% (29/56) of monozygotic cotwins, 22% (12/54) of dizygotic cotwins, and 11% (6/57) of adoptive brothers were homosexual."

Also, this link

2:35 PM

Blogger Full Metal Attorney said...

BTW, this data (if accurate) shows that "nurture" must account for at least 11% of homosexual tendencies (probably more because the fraternal twins will have more similar "nurture"), and also suggests that genetics account for a little over 25% while womb environment probably accounts for the difference between "nature" and "nurture."

2:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A one year waiting period between the application for, and the issuance of a marriage license would greatly reduce the divorce rate. It would completely eliminate drive thru Britney Skanks type marriages, and it would reduce the temptation to fake a pregnancy in order to trap someone. At this time, marriage is an outdated institution badly in need of extensive reforms.

4:48 PM

Blogger Pastry Chef said...

Kelly said:

BTW, this data (if accurate) shows that "nurture" must account for at least 11% of homosexual tendencies (probably more because the fraternal twins will have more similar "nurture"), and also suggests that genetics account for a little over 25% while womb environment probably accounts for the difference between "nature" and "nurture."

To which, I must respond:

See, I don't get tired of this argument because you're messing with my life.

So if, as you noted, these numbers are accurate and your analysis is solid, what's the point, Kelly?

Is the "it's not OK to discriminate" threshold something above %25? Are we supposed to agree that if 1 in 10 gay people are homosexual because of non-genetic reasons, that it's OK to deny them all full citizenship, just for good measure?

It still sounds to me like you agree that gay people almost always had no choice regarding their sexuality, and yet you feel they should be denied equal citizenship based upon it.

That is an indefensible position. Discrimination based on an immutable characteristic is called bigotry. A lot of bigots these days are saying that's a type of bigotry they're comfortable with.

Are you comfortable with that type of bigotry, Kelly?

7:08 PM

Blogger Pastry Chef said...

And as long as we're all double-posting, I thought I'd drop in my marriage fix I wrote in May '05:


It's so outrageous it would get any politician immediately recalled. But it *is* completely fair.

7:29 PM

Blogger IbaDaiRon said...

From further down in the twin-studies link page:

...there is still considerable debate as to how much the results of any twin study can tell us of the relative strengths of genetic and environmental factors.

But don't let this caveat inhibit expression of your natural statisticophilic tendencies, Kelly. Go boy!

(Pastry Chef, where's outrageous? : )

7:40 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothin' to say, really. Just wanted to see if I could get the last word.

10:44 PM

Blogger The boy with the green tambourine said...

Protecting the institution of marriage from people who want to get married. Aye, that makes sense, no?

I've written about this myself.


5:21 AM

Blogger The Language Guy said...

I have checked out your blog and bookmarked it for when I have more time. I can't be at my computer very long during recovery from the surgery.

Yes, it would be a hilarious anomaly were it not for the fact that it quite unnecessarily injures people, a great crime to my way of thinking, and because inclusion of the damn anti-gay marriage provision for voting by the population when Bushilla ran for another term helped to elect him. I stood in line with a lot of people saying that we really had to support this provision for otherwise my marriage would be ruined. I hoped that would sink in but homophobia trumps all.

10:27 AM


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